Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who knew?

Advice from the back of the can:

"Enjoy them heated, chilled or right out of the container as a snack, main dish or sliced and added to casseroles and soups."

However, I think only my California nieces would agree with that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sugar and spice

This recipe for chocolate gingerbread cookies is originally a Martha Stewart. I was clued in to it by my friend Holly at Phe/MOM/enon. The thing is, both she and Martha Stewart are really into baking, and I'm way too lazy for it. So, I dumbed down the recipe to suit my impatient needs. If you are interested in making it the right way, go to Holly's blog. The thing is, I thought it was just great without all the refrigeration and extra TLC. Maybe I'm a disgrace, though.


1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Granulated sugar

Beat together butter and brown sugar, then add molasses and fresh ginger. Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Form into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until surfaces begin to crack. Let stand for a few minutes.

The chocolate flavor is more apparent when the cookies are warm. The gingerbread flavor is more apparent when they are completely cooled.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chow down on chowder

We've been making this chicken corn chowder for three years now, and it's always a hit. It works great by itself or in bread bowls. You can make your ingredients as chunky or bite-sized as you desire. It's a Crock-Pot meal, which makes it even more appealing to me.


2 Tbsp. butter/margarine
1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cubed
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 lb. carrots, chopped
2 cans corn, drained
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. dill weed (this really adds to it)
1/2 c. half-and-half

Brown chicken in butter (it doesn't have to be cooked through), then transfer to Crock-Pot. Saute onions and celery briefly, then transfer to pot, along with carrots, corn, potato soup and broth. Add dill weed and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. During last 10 minutes, stir in half-and-half. Serves 8.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Do the mashed potato, then do the twist

Fiesta mashed potatoes are a tasty twist on the traditional dish. By the way, I never peel my potatoes, because the skin has so much nutritional value.


8 to 10 russet potatoes (small-medium, like the ones that come in the bag)
16 oz. lowfat sour cream
1 packet Hidden Valley's fiesta ranch mix
1/4 c. butter or spread

Wash potatoes, then chop into chunks and place in pot of water. Boil until tender. Potato chunks will slip off the end of a fork. Drain and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer until creamy.

Tip: Mix the sour cream and fiesta ranch ahead of time, then if you don't need the whole 16 ounces for your potatoes -- maybe you only used 8 and they were small -- you can use the remainder as a chip dip. Yum!